Trademarks for Mermaid-Tail Blankets Hit Some Rough Water

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 17 January, 2017

Remember Slankets and Snuggies — “the blanket with sleeves”? Well, innovative blanket designs have made a comeback — this time with mermaid tails. Except there are a few competing brands, including “Blankie Tails” and another from the company that brought us Snuggies, called “Snuggie Tails.”

Hattie Peze, a self-proclaimed “chief mermaid enthusiast,” heads up Blankie Tails, which grew quickly into a multimillion-dollar business. The competing brand, Snuggie Tails, are a product of the company behind all of those “as seen on TV” products (Allstar Marketing Group LLC) that markets a wide range of products on television infomercials. Allstar filed a trademark registration for Snuggie Tails in April 2016, which Peze opposed. The Snuggie Tails manufacturer claimed that Peze’s competing “Blankie Tails” trademark was merely descriptive and not likely to confuse the public.

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Topics: trademark

Harley Davidson Sues Urban Outfitters for Trademark Infringement, Again

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 13 January, 2017

Harley-Davidson is suing retailer Urban Outfitters for trademark infringement for a second time and both lawsuits have been over “re-worked” clothing products.

The motorcycle manufacturer claims that Urban Outfitters is again selling “re-worked” apparel, including a bodysuit called the “FPV Harley bodysuit.” Harley-Davidson says the bodysuit is made from genuine Harley-Davidson products that have been “altered and reconstructed into new products that bear the Harley-Davidson trademarks.” Additionally, some of the infringing bodysuits are not made from Harley-Davidson products but have been sold “with tags, labels, receipts, and/or packaging that bear the Harley mark and falsely suggest” that they are “genuine” Harley-Davidson products.

In addition to the bodysuits, the other infringing garments include t-shirts made from genuine Harley-Davidson products that have been modified and then sold under Urban Outfitter’s “Urban Renewal” label.

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Topics: trademark

Chinese Trademark Filing and Court Case Statistics Revealed

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017

There have been several reports issued surrounding the topic of Chinese trademarks recently. First, Lexology recently featured 2016 trademark data provided by China. Here are a few highlights (note that figures are for January – November 2016) that were presented at the 2016 Working Conference on National Industry, Commerce and Market Supervision:

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Topics: trademark

AirPod Case Sticker Resembling Dental Floss Brand Removed from Etsy

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 9 January, 2017

Ryan Ma created what he thought was a clever way to help owners of Apple’s new wireless AirPods ear buds keep them safe and secure. Because of their small size, AirPods are at risk of getting lost or easily stolen. They already come in a case that some say resembles a package of dental floss, so Ma decided to create a sticker that AirPod owners can put on the case that makes it look like . . . of course, dental floss. He started selling the sticker on Etsy for $4.99.

Problem is, Ma’s sticker looked too much like real dental floss, specifically Proctor & Gamble’s Oral-B Glide brand dental floss package design. Yes, it used “Oral O” instead of Oral-B and the brand name was changed to “Glides” — but even the blue and white coloring was the same.

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Topics: trademark

deadmau5 Petitions USPTO Over His Cat’s Name

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 5 January, 2017

We have to give credit to iHeartRadio for calling this trademark story “a game of cat and mau5.”

Electronic music producer and DJ deadmau5 (a/k/a Joel Zimmerman) has a cat named Prof. Meowingtons, PhD (“Meowingtons” for short). Prof. Meowingtons is reportedly the only animal with a verified Twitter account and it boasts nearly 31,000 followers. The cat’s name has been used as the name of a deadmau5 tour (the Meowingtons Hax Tour), on deadmau5 merchandise and album covers, and even on a line of headphones for cats (yes, you read that correctly).

Although the Meowingtons name has been in public use since 2010, Zimmerman didn't move to file a trademark for his cat's name until 2015. The USPTO rejected Zimmerman’s application since a Meowingtons trademark is already owned by a woman named Emma Bassiri who runs a website called meowingtons.com that sells cat-themed merchandise.

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Topics: trademark

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